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German Constitutional Court shoots down new ‘Lawful Access’ Provisions

March 2, 2010

Germany’s Constitutional Court is one of the few such national institutions that has been brave enough to interpret the right to privacy as actually meaning something that might outweight the state’s desire to know. According to the BBC, in a really strong decision, it has just ruled that a 2008 law, requiring all telecommunications traffic data to be stored for 6 months, violated privacy rights of citizens and should be struck out. Germany had already threatened to veto the European Union’s Telecommunications Directive 2006/24/EC (which came into force last year), a move which prompted the Council of Minister to take the unethical and devious step of redefining the Directive as belonging to the ‘commercial’ field (which requires only majority vote) as opposed to being a matter of ‘security’ (in which there has to be unanimity). We will now see what is the reaction of the German government to their own law being declared unconstitutional, and indeed, what international reverberations this have – the USA will certainly not like this.

(Thanks to ‘Unkraut’ for the pointer)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 6:10 pm

    We have been doing some research into the area of online privacy, and would agree that the stand the German court took is one which needs to be replicated in all countries. Peoples privacy is more important than the need to collect information on them. It is a basic Human Right.

  2. Eric permalink
    March 17, 2010 3:12 pm

    The Federal Constitutional Court just published an English summary of the decision: http://www.bverfg.de/pressemitteilungen/bvg10-011en.html.

  3. David permalink*
    March 22, 2010 7:33 pm

    Thanks, Eric

Trackbacks

  1. Germany Federal Constitutional Court overturns data retention law « The Lift – Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism

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